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> Dan in Plureality 4

When I was traveling in England the second time, when I was 23, I went into a bookstore in Chelsea and found a book called 'The Crow Road', so I bought it. Two days later I was in Cornwall with guy who had picked me up hitch-hiking and invited me to camp with his friends in a quarry that one of them owned. We were walking down the road along the coast at night, on our way to the country pub. Talking about books, and I noticed the crows, blacker than the night, lining the field to our left, and he didn't, he was talking about books.

And he said: “One of my favourite books is 'The Crow Road'. Have you heard of it?”


Dr. Hannah smiles. “Very cool.” 

Dr. James snorts.


Working in the bookstore during my stay on the farm, everything easily becomes about work, about paychecks, relaxing after work, small talk. That morning, before we open the doors to let in the customers, I glance at the New Age section, my attention caught briefly by a box-set of runes. I remember reading the runes, I wonder at everything implied by the runes and what they imply about the world. But I cannot feel it, cannot find it in the stark mall lighting, the stream of people, the economics. 

Later in the shift a man buys a box-set of Faerie Oracle cards; illustrated by Brian Froud. As I turn the box over to scan it I see the author's name, who wrote the commentary. Jessica Macbeth, and I remember being picked up by Jessica while I was hitch-hiking in Scotland when I was nineteen, her taking me to an ancient cairn and teaching me my first meditation technique before dropping me off in Oban and saying goodbye.


“Fine,” he says. “They are interesting stories. But frankly I don't see the point of them.”


A girl that I worked with at the bookstore named Kaye lends me over 30 hours of videotapes, all the episodes of 'Roswell' to date. I watch them continuously for a day and a half. Like brainwashing. These stories of aliens disguised as humans trying to relate and survive in their small town. Sure it moves me. 

The last time I did a total immersion run like that was when I read Grant Morrison's 'Animal Man' straight through. Later that summer a RPG character I was playing became self-aware and now gets calls and emails from fictional characters in the game.


“Again, the recurrence of TV, of role-playing games. The pathology is clear to me, Dr. Hannah. I'm still unsure of the value of these stories.”